Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Farmhouse Gothic

    Drive me by a Gothic farmhouse and I'll slow down.  Eastern Tennessee had me checking my rearview mirror and exercising my brake foot on an overcast spring morning.

     In the early 1800's pattern books for Gothic style houses were readily available.  The southern carpenters were familiar with clapboard construction.  The stylistic additions just made their work more interesting and challenging.  I spotted three of the farmhouses like this one in the range of just a few miles.  All were well-kept and welcoming.  Gothic style were adapted for brick or stone houses, but the majority seemed to be wood.

    Cottage Gothic is a variation notable by its gingerbread detail.  I missed taking a photo of the most elaborate one on the road, but this little house on a bluff will do.  The owners drove by and waved as they passed me taking photos.    

      Not far from these two houses I pulled into a small town with a share of white houses.  As a child this is what I remember fondly of southern villages.  Twenty years ago, when I returned to the south to move my Aunt Margaret from Virginia to North Carolina, I took major highways and bemoaned not seeing the little white houses.  My insistence on driving the smaller roads whenever possible on this trip stems partly from my desire to see sweet little white houses.

      Each of these houses have one thing in common besides their color and porches.

    Sit awhile, y'all.  Tell me your woes, your sorrows, your musings.  We'll rock and talk away the grief of life and celebrate your joys.  Come, sit awhile.  We're Southerners.  We care.

      Let's mosey into town and get a soda.  Buy a bag of feed.  Hang around the store and get the news.

       Sunday we'll go to our white-steepled church of a Baptist, Community, Grace, Reformed, Evangelical, Cornerstone, Methodist, Trinity, Redeemer or Zion persuasion.  Say a prayer for y'all.

         Tennessee was satisfying.  I'd go back.

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